Removing a wall to the ceiling / roof


An 8-foot flat ceiling can make a home feel cramped and uniform these days, as higher ceilings, both flat and vaulted, take over the housing market. Forty-two percent of builders responding to a 2002 NAHB survey said their homes had 9-foot first-floor ceilings, and 15 percent claimed ceilings of more than 9 feet. In a June 2005 AIA survey, 51 percent of residential architects said they use increased ceiling heights, two-story entries and vaulted ceilings to add volume to their homes.

Creating a cathedral ceiling in a ranch or split level home is one of the easiest ways to break out of the box, architecturally speaking. Cathedral ceilings can open up a house, adding a more spacious feeling to just about any room.

On the other hand, rooms with cathedral ceilings can be difficult to heat and cool. Homeowners may love the appearance of their newly remodeled room, but find that it is uncomfortable to live in.

Proper design, planning and building techniques will...

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If you have ever walked into a room with an amazing high arched ceiling , you may have wondered how to build a vaulted ceiling such as this. While these types of ceilings are very aesthetically appealing, constructing them takes expert knowledge.

The Good and the Bad

Vaulted ceilings can make a room look much larger, giving it a light and lofty appearance. This type of ceiling adds an extra dimension of light and depth. Vaulted ceilings are also perfect for adding skylights, which can fill a room with warm, natural light during the daytime.

However, a major drawback of vaulted ceilings is that they are highly inefficient for saving energy. Warm air rises and gets trapped in the area above the room. Additionally, some people may view a vaulted ceiling as simply wasted space that could be occupied by either a second floor or storage space such as an attic.

Careful Planning Is a Must

The easiest way to build a vaulted ceiling onto your...

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Typical sources of leaks or water stains on a ceiling are upstairs plumbing fixtures, attic-mount and roof-mount air conditioning units, water pipes in attics and roof leaks. In most cases, with single-story houses that have flat roofs, the leak or stain is directly below the source. With pitched roofs, water can travel down a rafter and drip onto a ceiling. Homeowners can troubleshoot sources of leaks and water stains at ceilings with a method used by professionals. After the source is located, enlist a contractor to correct the problem.

Second Story Plumbing and Flat Roofs

Spread a dropcloth on the floor below the leak or stain. Place a stepladder on the dropcloth and put on safety glasses. Work from the ladder and cut out a section of the drywall or plaster at the leak or stain.

Ask an assistant to flush the upstairs toilet. If water leaks through the upstairs floor, the problem may be a faulty wax ring where the base of the toilet meets the closet flange...

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This project takes place in a ranch-style home with a simple sloping roof. The complexity of the roof, the amount of attic space and other factors help determine the following steps.

Locate the ceiling rafters with a stud finder and mark the inside of their dimensions to indicate where the skylight will go.

Measure from the peak of the ceiling to the point where the wall and ceiling meet (the plate) to obtain an overall rafter length. You want to position the skylight hole in a place between the rafters that will maximize the dispersal of light while optimizing the ease of installation. Generally speaking, placing the top of the skylight a few feet down from the roof peak is ideal, but every roof is slightly different, so adjust as you need...

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What to do when there are baby raccoons in a very hard-to-reach area? What if there's no attic space to crawl into? This type of work takes a lot of sleuthing and searching

The customer had been hearing a lot of heavy scurrying and scratching noise in the cathedral ceiling in this room. I saw a big hole in the roof, but there was no attic space for me to crawl in, because it was a cathedral ceiling (same slope as the roof, no real attic space). I always assume that there's baby raccoons somewhere, which is true 80% of the time. Thus, I had to very carefully listen for any sign of baby raccoons, so that I could find them.

It would have been easy to simply set a trap and catch the female raccoon, like most raccoon removal companies would have done, but that would have left the baby raccoons inside the home to starve and die and cause an odor problem. I always work very hard to get the baby coons out of the attic, because I...

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I'm working on my neighbors single wide mobile home with a metal roof here in southern California. The problem is a sagging ceiling and roof. She thinks it started a couple of years ago when she had it re-roofed and the weight of the workers walking around on the roof started the sagging. I've removed the stained ceiling panels and a good 2 gallons of water sitting there. Looking at the trusses, one can see they have been pushed down a good 5 inches. The bottom board of the truss which the ceiling panels adhere to is not straight or horizontal as it should be, it is now bowed and the top board which should be bowed is now straight. Please see photos.

I have the 4x4 and jack to push everything back into place. I've noticed some of the small metal support brackets between the two boards have popped out. I've read your Forum about placing plywood to the trusses for added support. My question is: should the plywood go on before I jack it up or after its in place? Or...

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If you need flying squirrel help, click my Nationwide List of Flying Squirrels Removal Experts for a pro near you.

Squirrels are cute creatures that have a natural sense of curiosity and independence. However, flying squirrels that make their way into your attic can be very noisy between sunset and sunrise. They will also chew on your wires and insulation causing extreme damage and in some cases; fire.

When you have one or more flying squirrels in your attic, you will need to get rid of them as soon as possible. There are many humane methods for how to catch a flying squirrel. Catching flying squirrels can be very time consuming and frustrating. This causes some people to prefer to contact your local humane society or wildlife rescue department, as opposed to doing it themselves. Most people want to humanely capture a flying squirrel. If you contact an exterminator, you should inquire if they use a humane capture and release method, or a poison.

Also, you...

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The Leaking Flat Roof Repair Guide

In December 2015, Rawlins Paints published an article about how to repair your flat roof, and it received great feedback and further requests to do a follow up roof repair article. Who are we to not write about subjects we love? Read that article here.

Contents and Quick Links

Repairing a flat roof (be that a school or hospital, outhouse or storage) is similar to fixing a puncture on a bicycle tyre. There does come a time when emergency fixes suffice, and others when a permanent flat roof repair job is required. Simple roof repair DIY fixes are great, although if you are ready to take the next step and look at doing a more complicated professional level fix, read on.

Water torture can be unbearable, especially dripping through the ceiling on a cold and windy night. Nobody wants to get the step ladder out and risk a National Lampoon’s accident, so all Chevy Chase advice has been omitted from this article.

TIP 1:...

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Squirrels are amazing climbers. They can climb down trees headfirst. In fact, they can climb up and down chimneys and walls headfirst. And they love to live inside homes, including attics, ceilings, soffits, eaves, and walls. If you hear the scurrying of little feet up and down the walls of your house, especially during daytime, morning and evening, you've probably got squirrels in your walls. The methods for removing squirrels from the walls are pretty similar to the methods for removing them from the attic. Find the entry points outside, set one-way exclusion doors or live cage traps, catch all the squirrels, seal the holes, find the nest of baby squirrels if any, and remove them.

In this photo, we see a nest with a couple of juvenile squirrels bundled up in a nest in the wall. The mother squirrel has brought down a pile of pink insulation for the nest. I caught and removed the mother squirrel, but it still had this nest of young down in the wall, so...

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Ceiling with textured "popcorn" finish

Textured popcorn ceilings went out of style years ago, but many older homes—and some new ones—still have them. While taking down a textured ceiling is not that difficult, it is a messy job that requires hard work and special safety precautions.


There are two potential problems that can turn removing a textured ceiling into a DIY nightmare:

Asbestos: Acoustic texture manufactured before 1980 may contain asbestos and should be tested before being removed. While it doesn’t pose a health risk if left in place, removing a ceiling containing asbestos can stir up the fibers and cause them to become trapped in your lungs. More information about the dangers of Asbestos in Your Home can be found on the Environmental Protection Agency website. Painted Ceiling: Another potential problem that can make removing a popcorn ceiling much more difficult is if paint has been applied over the texture. This prevents the texture...
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A small screw-like device that allows you to attach things to a concrete beam, column, slab, or wall. Special anchor fasteners are available for materials like brick and stone. The fastener anchors itself to the base material by pressing on the surrounding material with lots of force, creating enough friction that it cannot be pulled out. You may then attach whatever you like - such as brackets, supports, cable trays, false ceilings - to the anchor, which is normally made of mild or stainless steel. An engineer will select an anchor based on the force that will fall on it. See our page on anchor fasteners.


See viaduct below.

barette pile

Bimetallic Corrosion

When you place two different metals in contact, corrosion or rusting can occur. This is because each metal has different electro-chemical properties. For example, if you attach a stainless steel bolt to a mild steel member, rusting will occur over time. The solution is to put a neutral...
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